Vedvyas: Another Sriskhetra

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Situated on triveni sangam, a confluence of three rivers at the vicinity of Rourkela Vedvyas stands spiritually supreme. The divine and aesthetic beauty of the place is to be internalized once you land there. No matter if you are a seeker of nature’s beauty Vedvyas is to delight you for sure. And for religious passion the place is nothing less than a pilgrimage. For both religious and tourist interests, like many Indian tourist places Vedvyas holds your mind and heart together.

Vedvyas is just 5 km. away from Rourkela and about 480 km from Bhubaneswar. The holy place can be approached by road from Rourkela and from Sundargarh, district headquarters. Far from the madding crowd, and industrial hub of Rourkela, Vedvyas leaves an imprint of treasured memory and divine experience. There are three rivers: Sankh, Koili and Saraswati (said to be Gupta Ganga) meeting at Vedvyas. Thus it is regarded as triveni sangam like Prayag. Here the Brahmani river starts its journey.  River Saraswati is not distinctly seen. Only a fountain flows from the hilltop of Vedvyas to the conclave of rivers. There are Sri Chandrasekhar, Raghunath, Hanuman, Balunkeswar, Jagannath, Durga and Saraswati temples which fill the atmosphere with a religious fervor. The caves although squeezed with the time and clime, are yet another attraction for visitors. Above all, the distinctiveness of Vedvyas is that it is attributed to be the place where the greatest epic the ‘Mahabharata’ was composed. In the scenic backdrop you will definitely be inclined to the sight of Swaragdwar where Hindus burn the dead bodies of their near and dear.  Gurukul, Goshala are other adjacent places worth visiting. Since 1990 Akhand Sankirtan has been continuing round the clock.

Like Puri, Vedvyas is yet another Sriskhetra where people from far and wide come and carry out rituals that are customary to Hindus. There are temples to worship, Swargadwar to burn the dead on the pyre to carry on the funeral rite. Thread ceremony, marriage and other Hindu functions are also done with sanctity.

Though it is one of the finest tourist places of Odisha, the Vedvyas Trust and the local administration do not seem to be paying much attention to give a facelift to the place. Particularly, the Saraswati river which arouses the curiosity of pilgrims and tourists is left abandoned as a place of garbage. People residing near wash clothes and bath there which pollute the fountain.. Despite there is prohibition on fishing people do not care for it. Since this famous shrine is far from Bhubaneswar, it fails to enrapture tourism department and minister’s attention, some Rourkelaites lament. .

The Myth

It is believed by many that the author of the ‘Mahabharata’ Vyasadeva composed the greatest epic here. The popular legend is like- Parasara Muni used to cross Brahmani river by a ferry boat to the other side to worship Lord Shiva every day. He met Mastyagandha, lass with divine beauty who ferried the boat. Love followed and Vyasadeva was born to them. In the cave surrounded with forest Vyasadeva meditated and composed the Mahabharata.